Journey into Mystery #112

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Writer: Stan Lee / Artist: Jack Kirby (and others)

Who is the Strongest Avenger? What say you? Well that’s what this comic is about. Stan Lee was obviously getting lots of fan mail back in the day (published in January 1965) demanding an answer to this question.

And in typical comic fashion…the answer is….”who knows??” Or in my opinion…it’s the hammer. Let me explain.

The comic is basically a flashback told from the perspective of Thor who is trying to help a dispute among some people as to who is stronger; Hulk or Thor. Thor tells of his last run-in with the Hulk and his desire to beat Hulk in a fair fight. Thor does the honorable thing and requests Odin to disable his hammer (Mjolnir) for a short time so he can battle without the hammer, and turning into his mortal altar-ego. This way he can use his brute strength only.

Thor is allowed five minutes of fight time without his hammer. This then leads to a game of “keep away” as Hulk attempts to take Thor’s hammer and destroy it. Since the hammer is now inert anyone can pick it up, even Hulk, and potentially smash it to pieces.

Both characters get in a good hit or two, but ultimately a conclusion is not made as the terrain they are battling on becomes unstable leading to Thor losing track of the Hulk. At this point his five minutes are up and Thor is re-activated again.

This issue solidify’s my opinion that Thor is really only as strong as his weapon and without it he does not pose a huge threat. (A major plot in Avengers 3 is his need for a new weapon after Hela destroyed his hammer in Ragnarok – until his new weapon was secured he wasn’t an issue for Thanos) Though one could argue Hulk did not stick around to finish his fight with Thor, hence he was scared of being defeated.

In any case I think Hulk is strongest since his strength is imbued from within and gains in power as he becomes angry. Thor is reliant on his weapon…and as has been observed…weapons can be taken away.

The story ends with Thor unable to make the claim he is the strongest.

This issue was a fun read and the art was nice. Definitely worth checking out. In addition to the Hulk Vs Thor story is a side story titled ‘Tales of Asgard: The Coming of Loki’. The brief synopsis being this tells of Odin discovering and deciding to adopt Loki as his own.

On Ebay, at time of this writing, this issue sells for anywhere around $50 – $400 depending on condition and if it’s graded.

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Hot Toys Gladiator Hulk Review (VIDEO)

This is my first video for the Green Fists blog. I will be posting on Youtube and then posting them here. I encourage you to subscribe to my channel, Green Fists, on Youtube. But I intend to do most of my posts here.

Hope you enjoy my review. I tried to keep it brief. GET SMASHED!

Hot Toys Gladiator Hulk – NEW PHOTOS

After many months of really no updates and continually looking at photos of the prototype – recent photos of the Gladiator Hulk (from Hot Toys) have begun surfacing.

Overall the figure looks mostly the same as the prototype…at least in general. The biggest change seems to be the head and helmet. The Hulk’s face is much closer to the movie. The hairstyle has a tighter cut. The helmet seems to have more detail (battle damage) and the mohawk is thinner. All good improvements in my opinion.

The only other noticeable change (and this I don’t like) is the body paint being silver instead of white.The silver is an interesting choice…but it doesn’t show up well. The original white paint has better contrast with his green skin.

Overall I’m happy with these recent updates to the figure. I have mine pre-ordered and been waiting for it to be released. But they keep pushing back the release date. Hopefully it shows up in the next month or so. I might even do a video review for that one.

GET SMASHED!

 

Q-Fig – Ragnarok (Hulk & Thor)

Q-Fig has done us the honor of releasing a pair of figures for the movie Thor: Ragnarok. Thor and Hulk are sculpted in the iconic poses of the two launching into battle. The Thor figure is very nice, but clearly the Hulk in gladiatorial armor is the winner here.

Each figure can be purchased separately and displayed. But I suggest you get both since the bases fit together and its feels more complete that way. Buying both though will set you back roughly $50 ($35 for Hulk / $15 for Thor). The higher price for Hulk is due to his size (Q-fig MAX). But that being said I like how Q-fig stylizes their figures and I prefer collecting these to POP!’s or anything else.

Overall a great display piece for a decent price. Don’t pass it up if you can!

Qfig-Ragnarok

Thor Vs. Hulk: Champions of the Universe – Review

Thor Vs. Hulk: CoU is a six issue series released in 2017 exclusively through Comixology (a digital comicbook store). Though I have heard it plans to release as a complete physical version at a later date.

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The premise is simple…pit Thor and Hulk against each other in a series of tests to find the strongest. This series actually has some fun with this and explores many facets of both characters and seeks to dig into what makes them tick. However, the way in which it’s done alongside some mediocre art lends itself to a somewhat less then impressive series.

Following on the heels of Thor: Ragnarok its a fun comic, but not nearly serious enough to gain my full attention. Something the movie did slightly better but had similar issues.

The story however is forgivable. My issue was primarily with the art style which seemed to change with each issue and go from pretty good to “meh”. In other words it was a bit too Saturday morning cartoon for me.

Also, I found the main bad “guy(s)” to be boring and trying too hard to be funny or self-aware. They never really made me feel like what Hulk and Thor were doing was really worth there’s or my time.

Overall, a fun comic but not much more then that.

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

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Easily this is Thor and Hulk at their best on screen to date. The film is never boring, and it is very funny…almost to a fault.

I went out to the Thursday night early showing of Thor: Ragnarok (my custom made Hulk helmet atop my head and face painted green with the white tattoo from the film).

After nearly two years I was pumped and ready to see this film that had my expectations incredibly high…and for the most part they were met.

The film moved quickly and did a decent job of juggling so many characters, including a few fun cameos and such. Most characters were also presented very well. Though I still have reservations about Korg’s voice. Miek should also have had a bigger role.

The humor pervaded the entire film. In most cases the humor was on point and got a chuckle out of me. However, I felt there were times it could had held back a little. The humor might have been more effective had it been better balanced with the seriousness of such a topic as the end of Thor’s world. Certain characters introduced in previous Thor films died in this movie…but were quickly passed over for the next joke or were just handled very poorly. The impact of these had very little resonance, even if they were bit characters.

That being said the humor definitely livened things up and it is clear the makers of this film wanted to hit on the same beats as Guardians of the Galaxy. But even in GotG there were serious moments that were better handled.

Thor is amazing in this. Especially in the first scene where he still has his hammer. THIS was the Thor we have all been waiting for. He was incredibly badass. Later in the film his lightning powers become more apparent and he certainly uses them to his advantage leading to even more awesome scenes.

Hulk very nearly steals the stage in my opinion, but fails to do so due to his second-banana role. Many scenes have him conveniently operating off screen or he is blurred out as we are focused on Thor. That being said the Hulk has his time to shine. We get a better idea of his personality. We get to see him have more range in how he thinks and we get to see him do more then just SMASH. He becomes a more fully fleshed character. His scene in the gladiator arena will probably be burned into my brain for the rest of my life. However, I cam kind of angry how the battle with Thor ended….didn’t seem like something the Hulk would be ok with to me. But overall I really enjoyed Hulk in this film!

However, my major gripe is that the movie essentially uses the Planet Hulk storyline but replaces Hulk with Thor. Hulk then basically becomes his Korg (or Silver Savage). Many of the major plot points of Planet Hulk are in Ragnarok…even including how it ends. It just upset me that arguably the best Hulk story in decades was used to make Thor a better movie.

Oh well, we Hulk fans must take what we can get as long as Universal still holds the rights to him. At least we know Hulk will continue to play a big role in future films.

Also, despite Hulk becoming a second place characters and a side story (though it was the better story in my opinion when competing with the main Ragnarok story) many advertisements placed Hulk at the center. Most of the Hulk’s best scenes were leaked in the trailers. It was a disappointment to be marketed so heavily under Hulk, but then we end up seeing mostly Thor in the film.

I could go on and on with what I loved and hated about the film. So I will just say that as a film this was definitely entertaining. Everyone in it was at their best. Thor and Hulk were at their best. I hope Marvel hears the criticisms and fixes things in the future. But overall I recommend this film…two fists up!

Get Smashed!

 

Thor: Ragnarok Clip: Thor and Korg

Another clip from Thor: Ragnarok has been released onto Youtube. This time it features Korg, the Kronan, who would be one of Hulk’s warbound in the comics and animated feature.

At first I was excited…but then I watched the clip and I thought “this has to be a joke?” Korg sounds like nothing you would expect. I always imagined him with this low, gravelly voice (pun intended). The reason this worked is cause Miek was supposed to have the weaker, high pitched voice. It was a balance of character persona’s.

But this Korg sounds like a smaller, normal guy. I guess it’s supposed to be funny. His voice not matching his body…but come on! I have been extremely excited for this film, but the more I see of the comedy I feel like they turned what could possibly be Hulk’s shining moment…into a big joke.

I’m really not happy or impressed with this choice. Now maybe I am seeing this out of context. Perhaps there is more then what I am seeing. But at this moment…I am starting to have some doubts about the directing choices for this film.

I hope I’m wrong. See the clip below and you be the judge.